Q&A with Trustee David Wilbanks
January is School Board Recognition Month, and this year’s theme is Forward, Together. The Arlington ISD has been moving forward together thanks in part to our board. We appreciate our school board members, so we’re catching up with them this month to find out about their lives and why they serve.
Next up is trustee David Wilbanks, who has been on the board since 2019.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being on the school board?
Seeing the change that we’re making in our students’ lives. They really can explore any dream they have and turn that into a reality in the AISD.
Is it a lot more work being on the board than people think it is?
Yes! It’s a lot more work than most think. I didn’t realize how much time it was going to take up, but it is rewarding work. We’re making a difference in kids’ lives.
Why did you get on the board to begin with?
My family believes wholeheartedly in public education, and we love Arlington. We wanted to see Arlington have the kind of schools our students deserve and our parents were demanding.
What’s the most challenging part about being a board member?
Arlington ISD is a large district with quite a few campuses. We also have a number of different stakeholders. Really having the pulse of a district this large is tough, but our role is really focused on making sure the superintendent is doing a good job executing our strategic plan. Keeping focused on our role as a trustee and learning to stay in our lane helps.
Is it hard to try and please everyone?
In a large, diverse city like Arlington we have a lot of people we answer to – the students, the teachers, the parents especially and the taxpayers. All those different stakeholders have different demands, so it is tough sometimes, but when you really focus on what matters – the kids – it makes it easier.
Have you seen the gains post-COVID that you were hoping to see?
Yes, I think we were surprised how quickly kids were catching up. I am really proud of the way our students have stepped up and made extraordinary gains this last year. We also need to give the credit to the teachers. The dedication from our educators, as hard as it was the last couple of years, has really made a difference in their students’ lives.